Thursday, March 20, 2008


Is JOHN McCAIN showing his age? (unretouched photo)
Interesting tidbit: In every U.S. presidential election, the taller candidate has always won — except in the case of George Bush and John Kerry... but in that case, Bush didn't win, AL GORE did.


Independents beware: McCain, when he thought it would help him politically, tried desperately to jump ship and leave the Republican party when he ran against George Bush for the nomination in 2000. He would have done anything to become a Democrat. Then when Republicans gained favor by hook and by crook, McCain began to curry favor with the most bizarre cast of characters, from Falwell to Hagee to the devil himself. He even switched his stance on torture, embracing it — because he knew it would win him the nomination. Remember, this is a man who had an affair while married to his first wife — only when he saw the opportunity to snare a woman of great wealth who could put him back into power in Arizona. Then, in the Keating scandal, McCain proved his corruption. Make no mistake about it: McCain is only looking out for McCain.

Take care of your mother
And remember to be kind,
when the pain of another will serve to remind..
That there are those who feel themselves exiled,
On whom the fortunes never smiled,
And upon whose life the heartache has been piled…
Jackson Browne, "The Only Child"

Obama’s luster may seem to have worn off temporarily, but the truth is often in the spaces — in the time between.

We may not be talking to the leaders of Middle Eastern Countries, but at least we’re talking to each other ABOUT talking to the leaders of other countries. We’re having a national psychology session for the whole world to sit in on. The media repeats every flaw, foible — and embarrassingly racist, misogynistic, nationalistic, patriarchical, fear-based, greedy thought we have. And we let the whole world listen in on our national pathology. And at least we’re thinking out loud and letting every racist fear be known. It’s like free therapy for all Americans.

In any event, it’s all good. Communicating about how racist we are and how bad the media is, can’t be bad.

But does America seem narcissistic? Our arrogance makes us assume we are the most important country on the planet. Do we hear everything going on in France? Does France and the rest of the world listen in on all this bickering between the parties — and all these sex scandals?

Last week in Santa Monica with my wonderful mom and sister.

Stop watching the news. Stop listening to the pundits tell us we are defeating ourselves. There is no reason to fear or believe McCain can ever win the upcoming presidential election. He is proving to be a clone of Bush and Cheney — and more about his character is being revealed. In June, the entire matter of the Democratic candidate will be decided and the nominee will have plenty of time to make the case for truth, hope and goodwill in front of the People. In the presence of truth, anything unlike truth, has to come up for healing. The process involves purging the old and brining in the new.

SPRING is a rebirth — and with spring, comes new life. My son and I were hiking at my mom's house yesterday, and a rabbit with a white tail hopped across our path. It must have been the Easter bunny. Bel Air Pres had a beautiful service at the Hollywood Bowl. On Saturday we went to a reenactment of the Resurrection at Vasquez Rocks — a spectacular natural park where they once filmed Star Trek. The rock formations are out of this world.


SHOCKING! On three separate occasions, three separate State Department contractors illegally accessed Obama's private records -- including his Social Security number, his travel itineraries, passport number and passport history. The breach was leaked to the Washington Times, a highly partisan Moonie-owned, Bush-backing newspaper. The Inspector General did not seem to know about this until today (!!) Who's idea was it to keep it secret, and why was there no investigation? And when exactly were the first two employees fired? It appears that now that these employees have been fired, they are under no obligation to answer any questions. Astounding.

Looking at Obama's File Gets Two Fired
By Glenn Kessler Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 21, 2008

The State Department said last night that it had fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for accessing Sen. Barack Obama's passport file.

Obama's presidential campaign immediately called for a "complete investigation."

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the employees had individually looked into Obama's passport file on Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14. To access such a file, the employees must first acknowledge a pledge to keep the information private.

The employees were each caught because of a computer-monitoring system that is triggered when the passport accounts of a "high-profile person" are accessed, he said. The system was put in place after the State Department was embroiled in a scandal involving the access of the passport records of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992.

"The State Department has strict policies and controls on access to passport records by government and contract employees," Casey said.

The department uses contract employees to help with data entry, customer service and other administration tasks. The employee involved in the March 14 incident has only been disciplined so far, because the probe of that incident is continuing, an official said.

Though the workers were caught by a computer system that focuses on high-profile people, Casey said that a computer report is generated on every access to passport records and that spot checks are taken to ensure that employees are not violating the Privacy Act.

"This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. "This is a serious matter that merits a complete investigation, and we demand to know who looked at Senator Obama's passport file, for what purpose, and why it took so long for them to reveal this security breach."


If you missed our amazing interview with NBC Bureau Chief and award-winning foreign correspondent Martin Fletcher yesterday, you can listen in the archives to one of the best interviews we've ever done.

Award Winning Foreign Correspondent Guests on Basham & Cornell Radio Show...

Martin Fletcher is one of the most respected foreign correspondents in television news. He has covered almost every conflict and natural disaster in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for thirty-five years, winning five Emmys, a Columbia University Dupont Award, several Overseas Press Club awards, and a cameraman’s award from Britain’s Royal Society of television. Fletcher and his wife, Hagar, have raised three sons. He is currently based in Israel, where he is NBC News bureau chief in Tel Aviv.

If you live in Vegas you can tune in Live or go to our website and listen in the audio archives.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on KLAV 1230 AM Radio live in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk If you've missed our show, check out the audio archives. We have interviewed John & Elizabeth Edwards, Pat Buchanan, Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich, John Dean, Valerie Plame, Christine Pelosi, Dahr Jamail, Senator Mike Gravel; Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie Savage, Congressman Charlie Rangel, Senator Byron Dorgan; bestselling authors Greg Palast, Paul Krugman, Greg Anrig, Mikey Weinstein, Paul Krugman; Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert and Paul Waldman are regular guests. Upcoming: Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Lincoln Chaffee, Naomi Klein, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. If you missed any of these shows, check out the archives on our website: Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Award Winning Foreign Correspondent Guests on Basham & Cornell Radio Show...
On Thursday March 20, 2008, Martin Fletcher will be the guest on the Basham & Cornell Radio Show, heard weekday mornings at 8 a.m. on 1230 AM KLAV in Las Vegas.

Martin Fletcher is one of the most respected foreign correspondents in television news. He has covered almost every conflict and natural disaster in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for thirty-five years, winning five Emmys, a Columbia University Dupont Award, several Overseas Press Club awards, and a cameraman’s award from Britain’s Royal Society of television. Fletcher and his wife, Hagar, have raised three sons. He is currently based in Israel, where he is NBC News bureau chief in Tel Aviv.

Fletcher describes his growth from clueless adventurer to grizzled veteran of the world’s battlefields. His working philosophy of “Get in, get close, get out, get a drink,” put him repeatedly in harm’s way, but he never lost sight of why he did it. In a world obsessed with celebrities, leaders, and wealth, Fletcher took a different route: he focused on those left behind, those paying the price. He answers the question: Why should we care?

These extraordinary, real-life adventure stories each examine different dilemmas facing a foreign correspondent. Can you eat the food of a warlord, who stole it from the starving? Do you listen politely to a terrorist threatening to blow up your children? Do you ask the tough questions of a Khmer Rouge killer, knowing he is your only ticket out of the Cambodian jungle? And above all, how do you stay sane faced with so much pain?

“Martin Fletcher has given us a stunning and memorable account of the risks, rewards, complexities, and enduring lessons of reporting from some of the most dangerous places in the world. His family’s Holocaust history frames his own eloquent insights and questions about the madness of the world that followed. I’ve known and admired Martin for more than thirty years, and this book makes me proud to call him friend and colleague.” - Tom Brokaw

How to Use the Rebate

As you may have heard the Bush Administration said each and every one of us would now get a nice rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will all go to the Arabs, if we purchase a computer it will all go to India, if we purchase fruit and vegetables it will all go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatamala, if we purchase a good car it will all go to Japan, ifwe purchase useless crap it will all go to Taiwan and none of it will
help the American economy , which is the whole purpose of the rebate.

We need to keep that money here in America, so the only way to keep that money here at home is to buy prostitutes and beer, since those are the only businesses still in the US.


I was blown away by Obama's beautiful, uniting speech today. In every adversity is the seed of healing, or out of every bad thing can come something good. In his comments about Reverend Wright's hateful statements, he acted as a true Christian would: hate the sin, but love the sinner. The redemptive value of Obama's humility teaches us all to stop focusing on mistakes, petty minutiae and the foibles of mere humans — and instead focus on how to heal the hurt underlying all of our anger: Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, male, female. I especially loved that he brought up the "glass cieling" that women cannot seem to break through.

"I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one."


Thursday, March 06, 2008


As the Native Americans reminded us: "No tree is so foolish as to have branches that fight among themselves."

There is nothing to fear so stop worrying. The water supply is fine. It can't be full of anti-anxiety medication or I wouldn't be such a nervous wreck. Besides, things are looking up. Obama won Wyoming! Below read several breaking news stories including the one about McCain's strange lobbyist who denies he's a lobbyist. Also, we want to publicly thank Drew Barrymore for her generosity in donating one million dollars to the UN Anti-hunger fund. And please read Larry Johnson's article on homelessness in America below.

Why are the 'holier than thou' corruption experts always the ones caught with their pants down? Let’s see — on the Republican side we have Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Bill O’Reilly,Ted Haggart, David Vitter, Matt Sanchez and several others — including the head of Young Republicans — all caught in gay/straight/pedophile scandals. Then on the Democratic side we have Elliot Spitzer, Marion Barry and Bill Clinton... but who's counting?

And for the record, the Rebublican party’s irresponsible Ann Coulter and Ken Starr-led witch-hunt/persecution/media blitz to expose the affair of Clinton and Lewinsky, two consenting adults, was in itself immoral and damaging to kids. In painstaking detail they paraded these blow-by-blow horrors for the press, not caring what effect it had on childhood innocence. And yes, we were all rightly appalled by the president’s behavior. But where was the right-wing morality brigade in keeping this porn out of the mainstream news for our children's sake? They never see how the media salivated and profited at the sex appeal of it all. And guess who owns the media? Guess who owns Faux News, Wall Street Journal? Rupert Murdoch. Guess who owns NBC? GE, the largest weapons manufacturer in the U.St. Guess who puts on all these trash shows like TMZ? There is no liberal media, contrary to the propaganda.

Lots of campaign news this week and some strange developments with McCain's chief campaign strategist Charley Black, who lied straight to the camera when he said McCain is not connected to lobbyists. The media never asks the right question. Charley Black is a lobbyist for United Technologies, a large Republican donor and defense contractor, which is making a hostile bid for Diebold — the maker of those hackable electronic voting machines! So McCain's close friend and chief campaign strategist wants to control the very machines we vote on... with NO PAPER TRAIL! Isn't this 'conflict of interest'? I am trying not to wear a tin-foil hat here...

And this scandal has legs: it turns out Rush Limpbotomy was urging Republicans in Texas and Ohio to turn out and vote for Hillary in order to "bloody Obama up a bit." Lots of lemmings obeyed instructions (as good authoritarian followers do) and switched parties temporarily just to vote for Hillary in order to screw with the outcome of the Democratic primaries. This is such a dishonest, manipulation of the system. Turns out, this is illegal — not to mention unethical and immoral.

They do NOT want to run against a movement like Obama.

But Obama wins Wyoming!

Finally celebrities are using their clout in the right way. I am a great admirer of both Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie for their humanitarian work. Instead of selling wrinkle cream and lip gloss these amazing women deserve our gratitude for donating money, time and for shining a light on monumental crises such as world hunger and the genocide in Darfur.

Drew Barrymore personally donated 1 million dollars to the UN Anti-hunger fund. She has been named Ambassador Against Hunger for WFP, it was announced on Wednesday. "I can’t think of any issue that is more important than working to see that no schoolchild in this world goes hungry."

And Angelina Jolie is Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a UN agency that currently assists 20 million refugees in approximately 120 countries.

Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, said: "I think the Wall Street Journal has one person covering Africa." If celebrities like Angelina Jolie, who wrote the forward to Pearl's book, are drawing attention to issues it's because, as she put it: "Celebrities are doing the work that journalists are not. We can't afford to be cynical about that.'"

That's because too many journalists are busy covering celebrities!


There's a saying: If you're in the jungle and a jaguar is chasing you, get out of his way because he's going to eat you. It's nothing personal; it's just the nature of the beast. So go back to your house and stay out of his way. We've been over this before (check out the archives) but it's worth repeating: insurgents and Muslim extremists would not be killing us if we would get our footprints off their oil, mind our own business, and go back home. They do not seem to know the God of love, but since love is all there is, evil has no real power, no matter how much you physicalize it by focusing on it. In other words, what you focus on grows. Or as Shakespeare said, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Our thoughts create our reality.

I have been experiencing moments of pure joy lately. It all started when I consciously decided to shift my thought to seeing the beautiful in life. Believe me it hasn't been easy, in light of the fact that I live with a primitive man — a recovering Republican who thinks all Democrats are vegetarians. (Add two preteen boys, two dogs, goldfish and a bearded dragon to the mix and you have a lot of chaos in our house.)

My ideal day: going on a road trip with the kids in the back of the minivan. We went to Tahoe over the holidays, and I can't tell you how majestic the snow-covered treetops are as you drive up to Lake Tahoe. It looks like heaven. In fact the town we went to is called "Heavenly." I get a calm peaceful feeling whenever I see a picture of Tahoe or Sedona, so I keep a postcard of Heavenly, right by my computer.

For the past few years I have not behaved in a very admirable way toward my husband. But I began to look at him differently. Everytime he annoyed me I would smile and pretend it was "cute." I became sweeter and more loving — and now I actually think I'm falling in love with him again.

Despite the horror stories in the news, I truly believe that if we keep our eyes on the beautiful, the good, the true and we will bring these into our life.

I love what Einstein said, that "no problem can be solved on the same level it was created on." In other words, you must go higher — to a spiritual solution. In the case of war, you cannot fight fire with fire; you must go to a diplomatic solution.


"MAYHEM. I just got back from the caucus.... but yes Obama can still win more delegates even if he loses the popular vote.

It looks like the Repugs handed Clinton the popular vote in Texas, I'm very interested in hearing the percentage of Repugs that voted for Clinton because the democratic to Repug turnout was like 30 to 1. There were 300 people in line waiting to vote when someone asked who was voting in the repug primary and ONLY 10 people came forward... that clearly tells me there were LOTS of repugs voting for Clinton to cause mischief in our primary. In most other state primaries the Dem to Repug turnout has been like 2 to 1. I dont know what is was for all of Texas but it was 30 to 1 at my precinct and that is crazy!

I thought for sure a brawl was going to break out as some of the Clinton supporters got out of hand and were yelling and screaming and pushing people and grabbing the signup ballots, things got really heated when some big fat guy that was like 60 pushed the Obama Campaign Chair and then bumped me with his chest like he was a tough guy and said to get away from the table and sit down that he was taking charge, i shoved him and told the old man to sit down and then a bunch of big Repugs in the Clinton camp that looked pretty tough came up along with a big Hispanic man ...........and some big African Americans and military guys got up from the Obama bench and I'm pretty sure there would have been a fight if the Election chairman didnt jump up on a table and start yelling "We are all Americans and we are all citizens of the United States and we need to get along and not fight each other. He then said elections are a privilege and people who don't live in Democracies would love to be able to spend hours waiting to vote to elect their leaders. At this point everyone applauded him and sat down.

Bottom line although it was chaotic and there was enough drama to make a movie out of this night, it was an interesting experience... plus I got to be a Delegate for Obama.

Blogger Enigma from Watergate Summer says:
Homeless numbers are up across the Country, Working poor, and even families and VETS and VET families...and it is getting worse by the month, due to the Foreclosure Mess as well...I think I see it more because I live with it everyday...But I am always grateful when someone spotlights it, but also explains WHAT led to it...and the Governent does have to involved- it is their policies that contributed to the situation.....

THE DAWN OF HOPE (Commentary by Lydia Cornell)
Although I don't like labels, 'Progressive' is good description of my political and social leanings. Going forward, making progress, advancing new ideas, bringing people together in the spirit of love, making friends out of enemies, having compassion for the downtrodden and even for prisoners (because we know what it's like to make a mistake or have a bad day.) Progressive means enlightened, spiritual, diplomatic solutions... getting along with our enemies, finding common ground, realizing that by joining forces and engaging in community we become stronger and better human beings.

Regressive is the opposite of progressive. In my view, regressive thought encompasses the belief that fighting one's enemies is the way to peace! Never have I heard a more ridiculous statement, but it seems to be the philosophy of the regressive movement. Religious fundamentalism is dangerous in any culture. Being focused on materialism, and on judging others completely negates the love required in order to live in a society. Fundamentalism is the primitive, archaic, eye-for-an-eye mentality -- the way of people who are too afraid of losing what they have and too protective of their own possessions. People who are afraid.

Strong people do not need to fight -- or hide behind guns. Truly brave and courageous men do not breed enemies. They are clever enough to outwit and outsmart their enemies by keeping them close. What sane person on earth, if he's not in law enforcement, needs a semi-automatic weapon?

The Constitution of the United States of America mentions "military defense" only once. But it mentions the importance of sharing, helping each other, helping the states, and building community -- several times, repeatedly. We must replace the idea of "rugged individualism" with "helping others within your community" because no one ever really made it on his own without a helping hand.

I really feel as if the tide is turning and we are all going to be okay. We will avert nuclear war with Iran, despite the Bush-McCain war lust, and we will create a safer, cleaner better world. As Progressives, we all have intentions toward life and peace.

ARE WE BETTER OFF? by Larry Johnson

As Americans choose a newly elected government this fall and the choices for President have narrowed, one key concept emerges from the past that should help decide the future.

During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan deflated Jimmy Carter’s reelection bid with a simple question, asking the American people, “are you better off today than four years ago?”

Take a look at your own situation and take a look at the world around you. America is worse off than 8 years ago. We have the worst deficit in American history. We are experiencing growing inflation and massive stagnation. Prices are going through the roof. Oil is at an all time high. Hate crimes are up. Incomes are down. Job growth has been flat. Bankruptcies and foreclosures have become overwhelming and our infrastructure is failing.

Oil companies are raking in record profits, while the poor and elderly Americans freeze during winter because they can't afford heat. CEO's are making record salaries, even as middle class Americans are laid off, seeing decreasing wages and facing foreclosure on their mortgages.

It was recently reported that there are some 850,000 people that are homeless in the United States today. Even worse, over 40% of the homeless are made up of families, and more Americans went hungry and without a home last year than ever before.

40% of homeless adult males served honorably in the US military. The average age of the homeless adult male is 38; the average age of the homeless adult female is 32, and 90% of homeless have successful work histories.

What have the Republicans, led by a Republican President done for America these nearly eight years? They started a war in Iraq based on lies, and they have blundered that war miserably. They have failed to stop AL-Qaeda. They ignored warnings of bridge collapses and levees breaking, and our infrastructure is falling apart.

They cut veterans benefits and health care for our soldiers even as they sent more and more Americans into the Iraq war. Osama bin Laden is still free. They have had a seven year period of scandal and corruption, they spied on innocent Americans, they caused the largest amount of foreclosures in history.

They have tortured, they have abused, they have lied and innocent Americans and Iraqi's have died and they go unfettered. They have sent millions of American jobs overseas, while allowing China to finance our debt.

John McCain has told us he will continue the Bush policies. He will continue the deficit, the failed economy, the failed Iraq war. He has openly said there will be more wars, lots of wars.. Is this what you want?

Many are divided over choosing Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. With Hillary the hopes are a return to the booming Clinton economy of the 90's, while Obama brings a movement of frustrated people that would bring sweeping changes to the status quo in our government.

Either Hillary or Obama would be a remarkable betterment to the maize of distress that has filtered our world today. Both would create millions of good paying jobs, help the homeless, and we could see peace instead of the plight of war.

The question of today is very simple as it the answer. Wouldn't we be better off with the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, and either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as our President?

In a different type of election you can vote for your favorite Female Blogger such as Lydia by going to Female Blogger Contest

To win any battle you cannot do so by might as your opponent might be wielding a bigger or more dangerous weapon. The only way you can win is by Love and then you realize that there was never an enemy in the first place nor is there ever a battle to be fought.

The Tree of Life' illustration, 2007 Tim Parish